Once More Unto The Breach

…make that twice more. It turns out I am going to have two more major surgeries: left lung and right lung thoracotomy. Due to the number and size of the masses in my lungs it has to be old school, non-robotic style. That means slicing between ribs, spreading them open with a mechanical spreader, slicing the lung and then cutting out (resecting) all of the masses along with 5-10% of my functioning alveoli (the broccoli-looking things that trade in carbon dioxide for oxygen).

They only do one lung at a time with a few weeks in between and the risks of the surgery are relatively low. It is usually 3-5 days recovery in the hospital, I can eat normally the next day (unlike RPLND), and pain management can be more aggressive as they are not worried about slowing down the bowels with pain meds. And Dr. Bains is arguably the best surgeon hands down at MSK. Apparently he gets called in to assist when there are complications with almost any major surgery (from abdominal to pelvic) and he is a lung guy!

Some in my position elect to forego surgery. However, there is a 7-15% probability that there is live tumor in my lungs. That seems high for us to live with and maintain peace of mind. Also, if I don’t do the surgery and tumors start to grow I go straight to high-dose chemo which is no picnic. If I do the surgery and they find live tumor I would likely only have two rounds of regular-dose chemo because they would have removed so much material and reduced risk through surgery.

Hopefully they do the surgery and the pathology is all negative. Everything points in that direction: my marker was down to 3.6 yesterday, my RPLND pathology was all negative, I feel clear in my body and my breath. But we want to listen to the doctors who have gotten us this far, support and compliment their work and soon enough it will be behind us.

It needs to be scheduled but the first thoracotomy should be in about 3 weeks (left lung first – more nuggets to mine). While I would be in no shape for it today when I think about how I felt 3 weeks ago versus now, I feel confident I can be ready for the knife again in 3 weeks from now. I am able to go to a regular yoga class these days, I can hike up a hill without having to stop, I am eating regularly for the most part, my energy gets better every day and most of the feelings of anger and grief have dissipated with most of the bodily pain. That being said I do hear the snarl of my animal self at the prospect of two more major surgeries…

I told my friend Abe about the surgeries and he sent me some Shakespeare to steel me up: “once more unto the breach… hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit to his full height.” Indeed. Ol’ Hank V not only won the battle but he got the girl so that sounds good :)

This Sunday our Cycle for Survival team mounts up 8am-12pm at Equinox Graybar near Grand Central – feel free to come and cheer us on if you are around. The team has raised $23,000 so far which blows my mind. We mentioned it to Dr. Feldman yesterday and he was greatly appreciative. He mentioned that while the study I am in (TIP vs. BEP) is funded for the rest of 2014 that he will be likely be able to use this money to continue the study and follow-up. So it doesn’t get any closer to home.


  1. Justine says:

    Sending tons of healing energy! x

  2. Crush it, Jay! Sending goodness your way!

  3. Patty Giesecke says:

    I love…love ….love (besides you….) that 3.6 marker. Oh my, sweet numbers. You will deal with the up coming schedule as you have done with everything else on this journey……with courage, honesty, fortitude, and with the good woman’s support you have by your side…..be victorious.
    Love from our gang

  4. Get rid of bad broccoli. Clear out the bits you know longer need, and move forward in life with happy, healthy lungs for each breath, Jay. More thoughts of deep breaths headed your way.

  5. Sending lots of love and positive energy your way Jay! You are in my thoughts.

  6. Theresa Ryan says:

    Wishing you wellness! xot

  7. We are following you and sending mega good vibes Jay. Hearts and thoughts with you and KR.
    Siri, Nate, Maria & Per

  8. Out damn spot. Wise decision–you’ve got it on the run, Jay, press home your victory, and retire from the field with your Sweet K-Rose.

  9. Jay, you continue to be in me/Mike’s thoughts and prayers. Sending you and cousin KTR light and love! Stay strong…

  10. Jay Morales says:

    Jay and Katie,

    Please put us on a list of your friends you can call on to give you a ride, feed your dog, weed your garden…anything. Whatever we can do to help.

    All the best,

    Michelle and Jay

    Jay Morales President

    Morales Communications 9 Arch Street Pawling, NY 12564

    845 855 5642 voice 845 855 0539 fax

    This e-mail is intended only for the named person or entity to which it is addressed and contains valuable business information that is privileged, confidential and/or otherwise protected from disclosure. Dissemination, distribution or copying of this e-mail or the information herein by anyone other than the intended recipient, or an employee, or agent responsible for delivering the message to the intended recipient, is strictly prohibited. All contents are the copyright property of the sender. If you are not the intended recipient, you are nevertheless bound to respect the sender’s worldwide legal rights. We require that unintended recipients delete the e-mail and destroy all electronic copies in their system, retaining no copies in any media. If you have received this e-mail in error, please immediately notify us by calling us at (845) 855-5642, or e-mail info@morcommunications.com. We thank you for your cooperation.

  11. Jonathan Richards says:

    Jesus. Forget the Book of Job, move over for the Book of Jay. You are one tough hombre, my friend. Much love.

  12. With much admiration, love and support, I follow you unto the breach and wish you well.

Leave a Reply to Robin Lester Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s